Training, education, and sustainable development are key components to ensuring efficient operations over the long run for any business. These become even more important when operating in a developing area with a long history of a lack of advanced education programs. Working training progrms in Papua must offer more than simply technical skills. Throughout 2010, Freeport Indonesia has set aside 2,194,080 training hours for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs for local communities. Hundreds of Papuan sons are currently honing their mining skills for a potential career in the company’s extended underground operations. Training programs range from basic reading, writing and math skills to “pre-apprenticeship” programs for individuals whom have never before benefited from occupational trainings, advanced technical apprenticeships, career and leadership development, and business management programs offering world-class skills to our employees.
In 2003, with a view of developing Papua’s workforce for the longer run, Freeport Indonesia established the Nemangkawi Institute of Mining. The institute’s longer term aim is to provide pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and advanced career development for Papua’s sons and daughters and also Indonesia’s sons and daughters on an annual basis. Each apprenticeship class counts 45 participants who are given the opportunity to enroll. In 2010, 564 Papuans had signed up in the apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Up to 2010, the number of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship participants has totalled 3,489. The pre-apprenticeship program provides training to strenghten basic needs such as reading and writing. Meanwhile, participants of the apprenticeship program receive both theoretical and practical training on melting metals, handling heavy-duty machinery, operating equipment, electricals and instrumentation, administrative and management duties, and other activities. Graduates of the apprenticeship program may receive placement wherever they want, but it is expected that most will be hired by Freeport Indonesia and its partners.
In addition to the apprenticeship program there are two higher-level programs, namely the three-year business administration diploma course organized in cooperation with the State Polytechnic of Semarang for Papuans aged 18-21 years whom are not Freeport employees. Every two years 24 seats are available. The course is to be completed in three years with classes being attended for six weeks in Papua and two weeks in Semarang, and is a mixture of theory and practice. The Nemangkawi Institute of Mining and the management of Freeport Indonesia have engaged in a partnership with the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) to make its Master of Business Administration program available through the Nemangkawi Institute of Mining. As of 2010, 40 employees have graduated from the MBA program.
The Nemangkawi Institute of Mining serves also as a media for transformation of skills to the professional world. The district of Mimika has still many spots in the inland where the level and quality of education is lacking; in fact, many school graduates have very poor basic skills. If this standard is to be maintained, it would be hard to adjust oneself to the modern economic era. The Nemangkawi Institute of Mining, through the State Polytechnic of Semarang, now offers a business administration apprenticeship course. Each class consists of 24 students from both the seven closest tribes and Papuans not part of the seven tribes.